Reptile-like physiology in Early Jurassic stem-mammals.

Newham, Elis; Gill, Pamela G; Brewer, Philippa; Benton, Michael J; Fernandez, Vincent; Gostling, Neil J; Haberthür, David; Jernvall, Jukka; Kankaanpää, Tuomas; Kallonen, Aki; Navarro, Charles; Pacureanu, Alexandra; Richards, Kelly; Brown, Kate Robson; Schneider, Philipp; Suhonen, Heikki; Tafforeau, Paul; Williams, Katherine A; Zeller-Plumhoff, Berit and Corfe, Ian J (2020). Reptile-like physiology in Early Jurassic stem-mammals. Nature communications, 11(1), p. 5121. 10.1038/s41467-020-18898-4

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Despite considerable advances in knowledge of the anatomy, ecology and evolution of early mammals, far less is known about their physiology. Evidence is contradictory concerning the timing and fossil groups in which mammalian endothermy arose. To determine the state of metabolic evolution in two of the earliest stem-mammals, the Early Jurassic Morganucodon and Kuehneotherium, we use separate proxies for basal and maximum metabolic rate. Here we report, using synchrotron X-ray tomographic imaging of incremental tooth cementum, that they had maximum lifespans considerably longer than comparably sized living mammals, but similar to those of reptiles, and so they likely had reptilian-level basal metabolic rates. Measurements of femoral nutrient foramina show Morganucodon had blood flow rates intermediate between living mammals and reptiles, suggesting maximum metabolic rates increased evolutionarily before basal metabolic rates. Stem mammals lacked the elevated endothermic metabolism of living mammals, highlighting the mosaic nature of mammalian physiological evolution.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Anatomy > Topographical and Clinical Anatomy

UniBE Contributor:

Haberthür, David

Subjects:

500 Science > 560 Fossils & prehistoric life
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

2041-1723

Language:

English

Submitter:

David Christian Haberthür

Date Deposited:

10 Dec 2020 17:09

Last Modified:

17 Dec 2020 09:11

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/s41467-020-18898-4

PubMed ID:

33046697

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.149261

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/149261

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